Greatest Violinists of All Time


The Top Ten

1 Shadmehr Aghili Shadmehr Aghili Shadmehr Aghili an Iranian singer composer, arranger, musician, songwriter and actress . He was born in 1973 in Tehran . He started his career with the release of several albums in Iran . His second album, his music became famous mosafer . more.

Shadmehr is the best! He's the best singer of iran

I am so proud that shadmehr is Iranian

He is a gifted violinist. He is also a very good piano player and guitar player, however, his talent in playing violin made him extremely unique from other artists.

Shadmehr is the best violonis, guitarist, singer&... In the world! He should be 1st!

2 Mairead Nesbitt

There are lots of reasons to love Mairead. 1) I have never seen another fiddle player capable of flying around the stage, spinning so fast that it would make most people dizzy and still be able to play amazingly!
2) As someone else said, she truly cares about her fans. She is loving and sweet and Mairead meet and greets are always awesome.
3) When Mairead is on stage, it is poetic. The soft melodies are hauntingly beautiful and she pulls you in. On the more upbeat songs, she is extremely energetic and you cannot help but smile.
4) She is INCREDIBLE with interacting with people during a show. She smiles genuinely all the time and really knows how to connect with her fans.
What is not to love about Mairead?

I had the pleasure to see Mairead perform twice, and I believe it is completely impossible for Mairead NOT to deliver. She has blown me away every time I've seen her on film, but to see her in person is a real treat. She has so much energy and you can definitely tell that she absolutely loves what she does. The greatest thing about her is that her slower songs are so hauntingly beautiful. Listen to Last Rose Fantasia and tell me you aren't moved! Mairead truly is the greatest violinist.

The remarkable Mairead can play ANYTHING! Her range of interest and proficiency is impressive. She is beyond technically sound and very versatile. She can go from playing a beautiful ballad and strait in to a lively jaunty tune without blinking an eyelash. No one puts more passion and integrity into her work than Mairead. She started off as a prodigy that just kept on going.

Mairead does not just play and dance, she tells a story with each piece and pulls you into a world of magic. When I listen to her and watch her, I forget about myself, my problems. I come out so happy and spiritually uplifted. You can always tell that it is her playing, since she has such a distinct style. She brings out the best in the violin, a very warm and flexible sound, and perfect technique and intonation. She is a true musician and reminds me of a fairy.

3 Lucia Micarelli

I believe Lucia has more emotion in her playing than I have seen ever before and she is technically magnificent

Full of passion!

She can absolutely rock your socks off! ;) She is a delight to watch in person. So much energy! Best known for her collaborations with Josh Groban and classic rock band Jethro Tull. She was the concertmaster with TSO on their Christmas Season Tour in 2003. - anetnut

Never heard anything like her. What style and passion. I could listen to her for hours. - yjagge

4 Itzhak Perlman

I am not sure How you can vote for some contemporary violinist like Lucia or Sarah Chang over some of the masters. Itzhak Perlman has way more experience than new violinists, in the current times he is for sure the greatest violinist of our time. He has won 15 grammy awards and has has been awarded the National medal of the Arts and the Medal of Liberty.

Itzhak Perlman is definitely the best violin player ever! He has always been a great role model for me. Even with his disabilities, he still works very hard to play wonderfully. When he had to play the Mendelssohn violin concerto, he said that he "didn't like playing the piece" but he still played it extremely well and he makes it look super easy.

Like other violin masters, Perlman just makes everything seem extraordinarily easy. But he seems to be able to combine ease and passion and, well, you only need to watch him play yourself to really get him.
But I think a lot of this is just opinion, because seriously all of these guys are so excellent that it's almost just preference.

Perlman is the best I ever heard. The young ones have not yet reached his level. Paganini is a legend and could perhaps be the greatest but I have not heard a great recording he made.

5 Niccolò Paganini

My grandfather was a classical violinist who was held in high regard in his native Vienna. The legendary Heifitz presented him with a beautiful violin and loved his playing. Despite his aristocratic arrogance, he would confide to my grandmother that Paganini was the most fiery and artful violinist of all time. He would point out the degree of complexity in his work and the virtuosity needed to play and compose such "devilish" music. Coming from him, it had to be true.

This list, and all lists of the greatest violinists, begins with Paganini. Like Liszt to piano and Hendrix to guitar, they set standards of skill, mastery and groundbreaking technique that all playing that followed was influenced by them. They cannot be surpassed on any list of the greats... Period.

He has composed the most complicated yet most beautiful violin pieces ever... Such as La Campanella, which later Franz Liszt made a piano etude from it with the same name.

Paganini was considered a genius, a god, a devil worshiper, anything but that of reality. There was a rumor, for instance, that when Niccolo was only six, his mother made a pact with the Devil and is said to have traded his soul for a career as the greatest violinist in the world.The most amazing stories were heard about his performances. The most famous is of the concert in Leghorn. When a string of his violin snapped in an intricate passage, the audience began expressing derision. But when Paganini continued to play the piece on three strings instead of four, the derision turned to wonder and awe.

6 Tomo Milicevic Tomo Milicevic Tomislav "Tomo" Miličević is an American musician and record producer. He was the lead guitarist of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars from 2003 to 2018.

I'm a violinist, and I must affirm that the greatest violinist of all time is Tomislav Milicevic - apocalypticsoldier95

30 sec to mars

Samo napred You're the Best

7 Jascha Heifetz

Heifetz being in 7 is sacrilegious. His sound, technique and purity is on another level compared to most violinists on this list.

I am a singer. I thought the violin was alright, but so few, in my experience, ever made me want to listen for longer than a minute. Our public television station recently ran the life of Jascha Heifetz. He dedicated his life to the violin, and they called him "God's violinist." All of his life, relationship skills, and other talents we work to develop in our lives were focused on the violin and music. Like any genius that is so talented and focused, other things suffer. But NO ONE that I have ever heard play the violin can play like Jascha Heifetz. His music is pure, passionate (plus all the other emotions), and if you are at all open and truly listening, from heaven. There is no one to whom he can be compared.

Heifetz is the best in which you can still hear his recordings and videos today. Absolutely phenomenal. His left hand pizzicato in Paganini's Caprice no. 24 took my breath away. Heifetz even told people about his practicing routine, "I never practice more than three hours a day and I don't practice at all on Sundays. " Can you believe that?! "Oh, Heifetz? He isn't my student, he is a student of God. " Says his teacher. "I can't believe I'm talking to a God! I am talking to Heifetz. " Says Itzhak Perlman when he first met Heifetz. Rest in peace, Heifetz. May Heaven and the world still listen to your wonderful music.

A God.

8 David Oistrakh

Well, this is of course a preference matter, Oistrakh's performance like me a lot... but if we listen Szering's Bach I'd say he has no competence.. well I think there is not such ten top violinist...

The only worthy violinist on this list from recent times - who knows how Paganini played. Oistrakh is the king and always will be. Incredible sound and incredible artistry.

Best of the top violin players! His power and personality...

As my predecessor said, it's a matter of taste, but to me, no violinist from the recording age can top Oistrakh. Perfect pitch, tempos, and always the music is achingly beautiful in his hands. MUCH better than Heifetz.

9 Sarah Chang

She is the best!

As per me, she is the best violinist of the world. Her style of playing and her way of putting notes is brilliant.

The Vivaldi Four Seasons is brilliant by Sarah.

She express how she loves play violin... And makes us enjoy everything she plays.

10 Anne Sophie Mutter

The mere fact that the depth of emotion and tender feeling she conveys on the violin is not at all diminished or disturbed by her prolific speed and adept accuracy has made me a spellbound admirer for many years. Her grace and beauty only embellish the core of her virtuosity as a violinist...

She is inimitable, Carmen-Fantasie try and listen. The best there is today.

She is definitively in the list

She is part of of her violin. I can listen to her play for hours.


The Contenders

11 Yehudi Menuhin Yehudi Menuhin Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin KBE was an American-born violinist and conductor, who spent most of his performing career in Britain.

The absolute master violinist. Some of his recordings are classics and still sought after. He defined the standards that others are measured against. He was also one of the best Violin teachers teaching Nigel Kennedy etc. No one else in this list compares.

Yehudi menuhin was the greatest violinst. He was amazing. He play violin like haven.

Menuhin's playing comes from another world. Almost every serious musician I know can hear the spiritual content of his playing. Ida Haendel said, "There's only one word for Yehudi---Magic! " Ivry Gitlis said" Well, of course, Heifetz was a kind of god, but with Yehudi, it was different, It's as if one of the angels of heaven came down and walked among us.

Very gentlman!
His sound royale style!

12 Joshua Bell

He was a child prodigy and throughout his life he has kept the highest standards and done amazing and creative things with his violin, from giving a "concert" in the metro station to see people's reactions to becoming director of one of England's major orchestras. His passion for music, his extraordinary interpretation of every classic piece that he touches is of the highest caliber. In my estimation, he is one of the perhaps three top violinists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

I think Josh will bill should be in the top 10 it doesn't make very much sense that a lot of these other violinists are in front of him he is way better than Lindsay Sterling. Also he's the most expensive musician in the world sought it doesn't make much sense why he's number 19 so you guys going to stop being stupid info Joshua Bell up to the top 10.

Joshua Bell was playing master classes by age 11. He had a "knowing" and passion whilst playing, that I have yet to hear from other top violinist. Top 3, by far, in my humble opinion.

He the best best best ever! He play beethoven extra ordinarily. Every hats off to him. I love him so much!

13 David Garrett David Garrett David Christian Bongartz, better known by his stage name David Garrett, is a record-breaking German pop and crossover violinist and recording artist.

Now if you want to be inspired, I suggest you take a look at this guy and his talent! There's not even a little doubt that he's the best! Listen to his album: Rock symphonies. Keep rocking David!

David is a very talented violinist. He can play classical and crossover music, too, and they're fantastic! David is a virtuoso, and lots of people like him, because he plays modern songs, too. "Music is vacation from life... "-says David.

I love listening he playing Hungarian Dances no. 5 and He's a Pirate.

Listening to David play as renewed my interest in classical music. He plays with such emotion. No matter if he is playing classical or crossover material, David gives his all, making the music come alive. He makes the violin sing. David has made the beauty of the violin come into my heart. I have had the wonderful opportunity of attending David's concert over the last several years... Love Him

14 Fritz Kreisler

A true violin Master. His live concerts were truly outstanding and his audiences were truly appreciative of this man's talent. Unfortunately the technology of recordings in his day do not measure up to the range and purity of today's recordings.

I have heard quite a few live, and would put Kreisler if not the best, then the most charismatic. Remember that Elgar's Violin Concerto was dedicated to him. He was a Captain in the Austrian army and was badly wounded with sabre slashed and hoof strikes when a cossack horse plus cossack charged at him. The last thing he remembered with the cossack toppling as a reult of him activating his rifle. Fritz was one of the old school who traveled by public bus to recitals.

Such an exquisite effortless style.

Even Heifetz said Kreisler is god!

15 Salvatore Accardo

A good Italian violinist
a professional violin
I follow willingly
pity that in Italy classical music
It is not followed as it deserves.
But we are getting there... thanks

16 Isaac Stern

I could listen to Isaac Stern all day and never regret it. While others may feel otherwise, I personally believe he should have been rated as one of the worlds greatest. May he Rest In Peace and fill heaven with his unique and blessed skill.

Isaac Stern is the best his solo for Fiddler on the roof is incredible and unbeatable. Never heard anyone play as good as him. He should be at the top.

As far as I'm concerned I think that Issac Stern is the greatest violinist ever. For his incredible speed experience
Style and passion. Only need to listen to the fiddler on the roof solo and you will be taken by this wonderful violinist.

Isaac Stern's tone, technique and interpretation brings him to the very top of ratings

17 Gil Shaham

I am surprised Gil Shaham was not mentioned earlier in this list. My wife and my daughters think he is the absolute best. Myself, I have to say I like him a lot also, but I am not sure I would place him above Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hilary Hahn or David Oistrakh.

18 Maxim Vengerov


You don't have an idea about violin if you don't know Maxim Vengerov. He is the most known violinist alive as a master of violin on earth.

One word. Love. He loves violin and he loves putting the emotion and he loves performing for the people.

The emotion he plays music is just amazing. Nobody can compare the emotion and quality of sound Maxim Vengerov uses. He's just so amazing.

19 Kyung-wha Chung

One of the BEST.

Her performance of the Bartok Violin Concerto No 2, acknowledged as one of the most difficult pieces for the soloist, is simply wonderful. Her technique is, I believe without peer, and the emotion she infuses to the instrument's tone is captivating. She is certainly one of the top handful of today's violinists.The idea of rating these artists is really quite pointless.There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of players of not only great musical talent, but who have mastered technique.

The most musical violinist I've ever heard. Matchless in her sensitivity, passion and imagination, she does every piece she plays justice and more.

She is second to no one, in terms of her passion to violin.

20 Nathan Milstein
21 Bijan Mortazavi

Bijan mortazavi is the king. I loovee him.

He is the best in the world

Best Violinist in the word

The best of all time

22 Lindsey Stirling Lindsey Stirling Lindsey Stirling is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her eponymous YouTube channel, which she created in 2007.

I absolutely love her! - PandasNGaga

Heck yes

Lindsey is currently THE best violinist because she has inspired an entire new generation into loving the violin. She may not be technically even near the top, but her passion and love of her instrument are undeniable. I would go so ar as to say, in the future their will be more violinists who got their start by listening to Lindsey than from all the other sources, combined.

An inspirational violinist, performer, and person

23 Hillary Hahn

I heard her play mendelssohn violin concerto. HER FOURTH FINGER VIBRATO IS AWESOME, and her technique is so amazing.

Makes it seem so easy. Watch her playing Paganini Caprice 24 on Youtube.

She is unsurpassed in all respects.

Just saw her at Lincoln Center... She was terrific. Played a Bach piece as an encore that was beautiful.

24 Samvel Yervinyan

He plays extremely well, and has special unrivaled style, very agile hands as well!

The greatest violinist I have seen. Awesome is not enough to describe him...

The best of modern times

Samvel belongs in the number 1 spot hands down. He can out play people with his eyes closed. He plays fast, slow and in between and the man is a total genius and perfectionist to say the least.

25 Boyd Tinsley

Powerful delivery of the music ideas and unique performance style set Boyd apart from other rock violinists. His solos truly boost the energy of the band and astonish the audience of hundreds of thousands.

What he brings to the band is amazing. He has so much energy. He can really make the music come alive!

26 Leonidas Kavakos

The most interesting in our times...

My opinion is that all listed above are great violin players and have many gifts in their hands but Leonidas is the best violinist I have ever seen. He hold 4 things in a truly extraordinary way. Speed feeling accuracy and theoretical base of what he does every single moment. Respect to Mutter Bell Perlman Menuhin Oistrach Kogan and many others.

His youthful interpretations of Paganini would in my opinion astonish Paganini himself, they are simply devilish... Nowadays of course he has matured and his mere sound with its radiant purity and powerful brilliance is the reason that his concerts sell out.

He is just the number 1 in this list

27 Marc O'Connor

Mark is the most versatile Violinist of our generation. His masterpiece The Fiddle Concerto is the most played American Violin Concerto written in over half a century. He matters flawlessly genres ranging from Stephane Grappelli era Jazz, Americana and Bluegrass to classical music. His music camp at Berklee College of music draws the best up and coming Violinists from around the world each year. Due to his versatility and The O'Connor method teaching success would make him, without doubt the most influential American Violinist I the last one hundred years.

28 Venessa-Mae

She's the most educated.

A dream since years the combining of classic, traditionals and modern elements...


29 Julia Fischer

Her technique is amazing. Also, she is very passionate about being the best. Julia Fischer is such an inspiration!

Her technique is excellent and she interprets the music very well!

She is extremely skillful

One of the best

30 Nigel Kennedy

Can play classical, rock and crossover better than anybody else could dream of playing!

Such a comedian and unassuming artist whose technique is quite distinctive. The Four Seasions belongs to Nigel

Nigel's performance of csardas at the proms 2016 with conductor Marin Alsop always puts a smile on my face when feeling down.Thank you Nigel

31 Pablo de Sarasate

Because he is very good

Sheer beauty is in his somber voice

He is the best

My favorite

1 Comment
32 Midori

Midori is outstanding. I can never finish listening to her debu consert as very Young.

33 Parviz Yahaghi

Parviz yahaghi is king of violin in all of times

Noun to second.. Parviz have been recorded several album at his home! Innovative violinist who rooted in Persian art heritages.

He is so better than shadmehr he is best violinist in iran but many people because he is dead vote shadmehr

I think he s the best, ccording to the era he d lived, & limited music aquirements in that time

1 Comment
34 Alexander Rybak

Not the best in Norway that is master Arve Tellefsen

A naturally talented man who can fluently speak in 3 different languages and can sing and play the violin, occassionally dancing as well. Soothing and emotional music is what this artist creates.

35 Antonio Vivaldi Antonio Vivaldi

45? Really? One of the most underrated people of all time. - TopTenTed

Greatest violinist of all time!

Vivaldi, at number 60 is total nonsense he should be in the top 10, what idiots are voting in this site, dear me, it's a joke.

Not only could he play, he could write and play what he wrote - severalsomeones

36 Janine Jansen

Technical incredible. Such passion, drive, emotion, and energy

Passionate, gifted and the best alive today

Best at Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorak concertos

Brilliant Mendelssohn with LSO at the Barbican

37 Leila Josefowicz
38 Pinchas Zukerman

Unbelievable Musician, he is 10 times better in every way when you think what best is:- Sound quality/tone, out of this world; expression, profound and other worldly, nobody ever come close to his ability to carry music to the beyond extreme! I cannot describe it, at least not in even a billion worlds...

Pinchas Zukerman has to be in the top three of LIVING violinists as the best in the World. Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman a close second and third.
Notice anything? They are all Jewish. Most of the World's best instrumentalists are, for they excel in music.

And best violist too.

Zucherman is a mile above Bell, what are you talking about, Bell is an amateur in comparison.
heifetz was the best ever on the planet.

1 Comment
39 Billy Contreras

Billy Contreras is a musical prodigy and certainly one of the top ten violinists/fiddlers in the country. He has been on tour with George Jones for nearly two years. In his spare time he is an adjutant professor at Belmont University's School of Music.

Billy's talent knows no bounds; he is comfortable sitting first chair in a world-class orchestra or on stage at a Bluegrass festival.

And, by the way, Billy is America's premiere jazz violinist.

Billy performed with Doc Severson recently in Nashville. Doc thinks the sun rises and sets on Billy.

40 L Shankar

He is the best. He has mastered both the difficult and complex Indian and western music. He is great. He has collaborated with great violinists and proved his worth

He is a pure genius!

Stow away your predilections for a moment and listen to his abheri, you. Will be amazed

41 Farid Farjad
42 John Cale John Cale John Davies Cale is a Welsh musician, composer, singer, songwriter and record producer who was a founding member of the American rock band the Velvet Underground.
43 Leonid Kogan

A beautiful sound, crystal clear and intensive performing. As young I loved brothers Oystrah and Svj.Richter, and I didn't have ear for a beauty of Kogans music. But I am thankful now.

44 Bahman Mehabadi

Best Teacher of the world!

Very good thecher and violonist

45 Meysam Marvasti

He can play not only violoin but also all the Iranian instruments. 🌺

46 Arthur Grumiaux

Arthur Grumiaux was another one of the great violinists of his time (1921-1986). He stopped his public performances during the Nazi occupation of his country.

47 Peter Lee Johnson
48 Henry Lau
49 Mohsen Namjoo

Mohsen Namjoo is the best singer in Iran

I love mohsen namjoo... he was the apprentice of mr shajarian...

50 Xainyar
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List StatsUpdated 14 Jan 2019

15,000 votes
136 listings
11 years, 133 days old

Top Remixes (15)

1. Lucia Micarelli
2. Mairead Nesbitt
3. Tomo Milicevic
1. Samvel Yervinyan
2. Bijan Mortazavi
3. Homayoun Khorram
1. Jascha Heifetz
2. Niccolò Paganini
3. Itzhak Perlman

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Joshua Bell

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